Pause and Relax Yourself

Growing up, my father used to say, “Relax!” whenever my energy went to a place of stress.  It drove me nuts cause I didn’t know how to relax so it was just an empty statement to me.  How should someone relax when things are going wrong?  How can one relax if too much is going on at once? I wish my dad used to say, “Pause” because maybe then I would have understood that I needed to stop in my tracks, pause for a moment and then reset. Introducing your new word too: Pause!

I did that the other day.  It wasn’t a bad day by any means.  It was just so nice here in Southern California.  Being a native New Yorka (with my fake New York accent), this time of year usually brought long sleeved shirts, pants and a chilly JZ.  However, being in SoCal now brings shorts, tank, sandals and a very happy JZ.  While this particular morning was spent training clients in their prospective gyms, the afternoon was almost spent indoors writing and making calls.  As I glimpsed outside my office window, I saw the beautiful palm trees dancing amongst a light wind. My mind suddenly drifted off into a state of distraction and with 2 more calls to make that day, I decided to pause my day and honor the need to get on my beach cruiser and ride over to Santa Monica Beach-yeah, just like that.

I had 2 hours on my hands. I knew that by the time I got over to the beach, it would only take me 30 minutes, leaving me plenty of time to soak up a few rays and make my calls.  The ride over became my pause.  But even before that, the glimpse out of my office window gifted me with a pause.  It reminded me to be mindful of where I am and what I wanted to do at that moment.  I promised myself that part of my duty out of corporate America was to begin enjoying where I live.  And that was my mission for this day…

While some of you reading may not have the same luxury as I did that day, I will point out that you have the opportunity to pause no matter what your situation is.  Here are some ways to pause in the midst of the most hectic days of them all:

  1. Get up and walk around.  Walk somewhere quiet and sit down in that quiet place.  Shut your eyes and take 20 deep pelvic breaths.  When you are done, get up and go back.
  2. Get up and stretch.  Pick 3 stretches from my youtube station (please subscribe) and just stretch. You can even do the foam rolling routine if you bring your foam roller with you.
  3. Ride your bike.  If you can’t because it is the middle of the day, see if you can convince your office to have a few bikes on hand.  If not, can you park your own bike there?  Sometimes driving away from your cluster of activities can liberate you, freeing you up again for a new perspective
  4. Light a candle at your desk.  Allow that candle be the light within you.  Perhaps you tell people at work that the light symbolizes you being on fire and that you are running on deadline.  This way, they can leave you alone until you get your other tasks done.
  5. Play some calming music at your desk or on your cell phone.  Use a head set so that it creates an intimate world of your own.  The “chill out station” or “yoga station” on Pandora is quite relaxing and can offer you a quick escape almost immediately.  Try doing your work with this calming music in the background.  It might calm down your energy allowing you to streamline your focus again to your task(s).

By pausing, you are freeing up your ability to think clearly, thereby lowering stress within your body.  I can write a whole thing up on stress and how it impacts your body, but I don’t want this post to turn all “sciency.”  Just know that stress can and will age you.  Stress can and will embody disease within you.  Stress can and will cause weight gain.  Stress can and eventually will kill you.  Therefore, pause.  Do not stress.  Rather, pause all day – every day – and you will notice that you own your own life again….Which is yours to begin with. 

LifestyleJennifer Zerling